Issue#179 February 17, 2014
Welcome to KnowYourThyroid.
I hope everyone is well. We are finally getting to the end of winter. Thank goodness! It has been a long one this year.
Most of us are looking forward to spring and all the activities, but some are struggling with extreme fatigue but don’t know why. So many women are not diagnosed with an underactive thyroid until they get handed a prescription for thyroid hormone by their doctor. However, that RX might have been avoided. Learn if you are at risk below.
The Natural Approach to Thyroid Health
Many women are completely unaware they have an underactive thyroid until it’s too late and they are told to go on thyroid stimulating medication.
You don’t have to be one of them! There are several good, effective steps you can take to promote thyroid health — without medication or a trip to the doctor’s office. The key is to start them early.
If you notice numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, difficulty losing weight, cold-intolerance, fatigue, skin changes or other symptoms, it’s time to start supporting your thyroid — even if your doctor says your thyroid tests are within the normal range. (It may be helpful to assess your symptoms right now — take our free online Thyroid Health Profile.)
Natural remedies for an underactive thyroid
Vitamins, minerals and herbs. Your thyroid requires iodine and selenium in order to make the thyroid hormones your cells need. The thyroid also needs zinc, iron, copper, vitamin A, vitamin C, and the B vitamins to carry out its critically important daily functions. One of the first and best steps you can take to support your thyroid is to find the right high-quality multivitamin, one that includes the above vitamins and minerals. Once your body has these raw materials, your thyroid can release hormones at the proper rate required by your metabolism. Along with a quality multivitamin, specific herbs can directly support thyroid hormone production and thyroid cell metabolism, while boosting energy levels. Our product, T-Balance, offers you the best of both worlds. Iodine and selenium combined with ashwagandha, coleus forskohlii, hops, sage, and bacopa monnieri provides the nutritional, herbal and energetic support you need as you rebalance your thyroid.
Thyroid supportive foods. It comes as a surprise to many women that some foods support thyroid health while other seemingly healthy foods can actually suppress thyroid function. Foods like seafood, sea vegetables, iodized sea salt, eggs, asparagus, and sesame seeds are rich iodine sources to support thyroid health. Brazil nuts, tuna, mushrooms, beef, and sunflower seeds provide good sources of selenium. Be careful of foods that contain gluten. There is a direct connection between autoimmune thyroid disorders and gluten intolerance and we find it’s best to avoid gluten if you are concerned with your thyroid health. There is also evidence that soy and raw vegetables in the Brassica family (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts) can inhibit thyroid function by disrupting the enzyme that adds iodine to it. However, adding extra iodine to your diet or simply steaming these foods before eating can counter this effect.
Exercise and stress relief. Stress is one of the biggest culprits behind thyroid imbalances. The stress hormone cortisol can directly inhibit thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and the conversion from T4 to our body’s most useful form of thyroid hormone, T3. Lowering stress can immediately lift a burden off the thyroid, but as we all know, this is easier said than done. One way you might start is by engaging in a regular exercise program. As long as it is not too vigorous or overwhelming, exercise is a great stress-buster. Research also tells us that raising the heart rate with exercise can increase thyroid hormones. Sleep is about the best way to combat stress. The more you stick to a regular bedtime routine — finding 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night — the more rest and relaxation your body has, which also lightens the load for your thyroid.
Emotional health. Though we don’t fully understand the direct biological connections yet, science has shown that emotional wellness is often linked to thyroid health. We know that many traditional forms of healing recognize the thyroid as particularly sensitive when you hold back emotions or stifle your own “voice”. As women, we are born nurturers and tend to put others before ourselves. This can often lead to bottled up emotions that can then inflict more stress on your body. Our best advice is to find someone to talk to or create a way to express your emotions. Some women find journaling, dancing or singing helpful (even if it’s alone in the car!). No matter what, give yourself permission to find healthy ways to express yourself every day.
Start now to keep your thyroid healthy and strong
One of the most frustrating aspects of thyroid disorders is that once women are put on thyroid-stimulating drugs, it’s very difficult to come off of them. The best way to boost your thyroid function naturally is by starting early and addressing the whole endocrine system. Our Thyroid Health Package can help you support your thyroid naturally, easily — and effectively.